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General Chinese

eChineselearning provides a huge number of Chinese resources for Chinese language learners. The materials in this section are designed to teach Chinese to non-native Chinese learners of various skill levels. These basic Chinese language materials are edited by eChineselearning's professional teaching staff. And best of all, they are totally FREE! If you are interested in learning Chinese, the basic Chinese language resources in this section will be of a great use to you!

We have previously introduced Sichuan’s “麻辣(málà)” and Hunan’s “香辣(xiānglà)” flavors. In this last issue of our three-part sizzling-hot tour of China we will learn about one more unique kind of “spiciness” — the “酸辣(suānlà) sour spiciness” of “贵州(guìzhōu).” The special climate of Guizhou Province is, in a word, “天无三日晴(tiān wú sānrì qíng),” meaning ...


In China, “辣椒(làjiāo) chili” has rich cultural connotations. The fire-red chilies, connected with feelings of joy and celebration, symbolize colorful and thriving lives. What’s more, the character “交(jiāo) make friends or associate with someone” is a homophone of “椒(jiāo)”, suggesting that making good friends with others can help you make a good fortune, get a ...


Mention of the word “spicy” often reminds people of hot peppers, which turn red when ripening. In China, red color is the color of auspiciousness and prosperity, symbolizing good luck, happiness, and a rich life.
Most people from southern China love spicy food, especially those from Sichuan, Hunan, and Guizhou provinces. These places frequently have wet ...


Yesterday, May 6, 2015, was a special day called 立夏(Lì xià),” the seventh solar term of the 24 Chinese Solar Terms This is the day that marks the beginning of the hot summer in China. These days,
the maximum air temperatures of most cities in south China exceed 30°C (86°F)! Can you feel the “热 (rè) heat”?
Stroke order:

In Chinese, “热 (rè)” can be used to describe burning hot weather, but this term is also often used to describe certain popular and trending activities, such as “汉语热 (hànyǔrè) Mandarin fever,” “健身热 (jiànshēnrè) fitness fad,” “股票热 (gǔpiàorè) ...


Paper money is what keeps any country running, and the RMB, or yuan, is the currency of China. In many countries, paper currency is not only practical, but also features well-known public figures and landmarks. For example, you can see the White House on the back of the US 20-dollar bill and the United States ...


Have you ever heard of Chinese “糖画(tánghuà) sugar painting?” If not, check out the video below for a glimpse of this intricate, edible art!

Have you ever seen anything like what the artist makes in the video? Do you think the way “糖画(tánghuà)” is made is pretty amazing?
If you visit China, you might find that in ...


Last week we talked about the weird-looking, and tasting, “皮蛋(pídàn) preserved egg.” Have you rolled up your sleeves and given it a taste? If not, here comes another choice you might want to try! This week we will introduce another strange Chinese delicacy with a nasty smell: “臭豆腐(chòudòufu).”

A lot of foreigners in China find it unbelievable ...


“皮蛋(pídàn),” which is known as “preserved egg,” “century egg,” “hundred-year egg,” “thousand-year-old egg” and “millennium egg” in English, is a kind of special delicacy for the Chinese, but many foreigners think it tastes awful! Let’s see how some foreigners respond to their first taste of “皮蛋(pídàn)!”

The video is pretty funny but it obviously shows differences between the ...


“驴友(lǘyŏu)” literally means “donkey friend,” but translates as “backpackers” or “travel buddies.” It is a homophone of “旅游(lǚyóu),” the Chinese word for tour. “驴友(lǘyŏu)” refers to people who like off-the-beaten-path travel or outdoor sports, especially those who enjoy adventures, climbing, hiking, etc. “驴友(lǘyŏu)” are people who are proud to be compared to donkeys since these ...


Are you the kind of person who is desperately overcommitted and suffering from exhaustion? Are you still upset about your most recent failure? Are you living with terrible pressure? If so, you’re the victim of negative emotions. To resolve these problems, you need some “正能量(zhèngnéngliàng),” which can save you from feeling constantly disappointed or drained ...


Lately, discussions on social networking sites have turned their attention to, what some argue to be, a new type of ideal boyfriend called “暖男(nuǎnnán).” So, what is it about this type of men that makes them so sought after? Do you or your man have the characteristics of a “暖男(nuǎnnán)”?

“暖(nuǎn)” basically means “warm,” but in ...


At the recently concluded 2014 Inchon Asian Games, Ning Zetao won the gold medal in the Men’s 100m Freestyle Final and set a new Asian Games record. Now he is called “泳坛新秀(yǒngtán xīnxiù)” by the media. Here, “泳坛新秀(yǒngtán xīnxiù)” means a new swimming star.

“秀(xiù)” literarily means beautiful, elegant and pretty. It can also refer to ...


In theaters in ancient China, when there was a show, some wooden tablets bearing the names of the actors would be hung at the door of the theater. The tablet placed at the very front was called the “头牌(tóupái),” referring to the lead actor in the performance. The term “大牌(dàpái)” is derived from this and ...


“拼(pīn)” means “to put together” or “piece together.” When you see someone spare no effort to do something, you can remark that he is very “拼(pīn).” When used for this meaning, “拼(pīn)” is used as an adjective or a verb, meaning to strive or struggle for something.

pīnchē/pīntuán/ pīndān
拼车/       拼团/      拼单

The character “拼(pīn)” can be used ...


If one day, one of your friends tells you that he or she is going to "裸婚(luǒhūn),” don’t be tricked by the phrase’s literal meaning of “naked wedding.” There’s no need to worry if you don’t know what the term actually means, because today we are going to cover all the interesting uses of “裸(luǒ).” ...


One basic meaning of “后(hòu)” is “after or later”, such as “一周后(yìzhōuhòu) after a week” and “三天后(sāntiānhòu) three days later.”

Example

Wǒ sāntiān hòu qù běijīng.
我   三天     后    去 北京。
I will leave for Beijing in three days.

 

At some point you will come across the word “后(hòu)” used in phrases like: “80后(bālínghòu) children of the 80’s” ...


When you first come to China, you will hear Chinese people say things like “打电话(dǎdiànhuà),” “打车(dǎchē),” “打球(dǎqiú),” etc. As you may know, “打(dǎ)” basically means “hit,” “beat,” “break,” or “attack.” With so many meanings, it’s not surprising if you start to get confused. So the big question is, why do Chinese people “打(dǎ) hit” so ...


If you take a look at Chinese social sites like WeChat and Weibo you will probably notice a number of people who proclaim themselves to “有钱就是任性(yǒuqián jiùshì rènxìng) or “有钱,任性(yǒuqián, rènxìng).” Once you understand the meaning of the phrase you will probably wonder what this world is coming to. This buzzword was officially listed as ...


Literally, “霸(bà)” means “to dominate, lord over, tyrannize over or rule by force.”

xué bà
学    霸

“学霸(xué bà)” is a new buzzword that has recently been spread widely on the Internet, but we also use it in our daily lives. If we call someone a “学霸(xué bà),” we mean that he or she is a hard-working ...


“羊(yáng)” is zodiac animal of this Chinese Lunar New Year, but it has caused a good deal of confusion in the English-speaking world, because its translation results in at least three candidates: ram, sheep and goat. Unlike China, other countries in Asia are more settled on the question of which kind of “羊(yáng)” is the ...


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